The sixth Annual Southern Minnesota Christmas Festival and "Toys for Tots" Kick–off was on Saturday at the Verizon Center.

The festivities included face painting, pictures with Santa and more. Families were able to donate toys for the Marine's Toys for Tots.

Toys for Tots Coordinator Bernie Thompson said the event went very well and the donations are flying in. 

"Last year we took in about 700 hundred toys and $3000 in cash," said Thompson. 

Thompson said he had to empty multiple boxes because they filled up quickly.

Volunteer Ana Goellner said she enjoyed her first year volunteering with the festival. 

"It's been really fun and really great to like help out and like stuff and see all these little kids and like the music's really good and really fun," said Goellner, 

The donations will remain local with toys going to Blue Earth, Nicolette and Waseca County. Toys will be distributed on Dec 16 at the Mankato Armory.